In a massive shift in public opinion, a new MORI poll has demonstrated for the first time an overwhelming consumer demand for high performance environmentally friendly homes.
The new report, Eco Chic or Eco Geek by the Sponge Sustainability Network, shows that home owners are prepared to pay more to live in a sustainable home. 92 per cent of those surveyed are keen to see sustainability features offered on new homes, while 64 per cent said these should be compulsory.
Men might not be eco-chic but they are certainly eco-geeks. The report shows that men are more likely than women to know about energy saving and energy generation in the home (35 per cent compared with 14 per cent), while women prove to be the experts on reducing household waste.
In general, the older age bracket (aged 35-54) claimed to be more in the know than 18-34 year olds, who tended not to own their own home or have a clear idea about how much their bills cost.
Four out of five people believe hi-tech sustainable homes can help combat climate change, but call for more market choice and Government leadership.
Lack of information is seen as the key barrier in driving demand for sustainable homes according to 70 per cent of homeowners, the report shows.
New schemes such as the Code for Sustainable Homes, where zero carbon homes will be exempt from stamp duty, and the forthcoming Energy Performance Certificate are welcome tools to help people make green choices when buying a new home. Buyers are keen to have more information about the energy performance of their potential new home since this is likely to have an impact on house prices in future.
Director of the Sponge Sustainability Network Sonny Masero said: “This report comes at a crucial time when we all need to rise to the challenge of climate change in our every day lives. We are delighted and impressed by the clear swing in consumer expectations towards much higher environmental standards. Now house builders must respond quickly to catch up with consumer demand and offer more market choice.”
In response to the report, Debbie Aplin,Managing Director of Crest Nicholson Regeneration said: “This Sponge report is invaluable. Now we must build consumer confidence that developers are rising to the challenge and embedding sustainability in housing designs that help the environment, and have the added benefit of reducing household bills.”